Do Deer Eat Hawthorn Berries

Do Deer Eat Hawthorn Berries – In this article, I will give a direct answer to the diet of white-tailed deer in general AND analyze what they eat in different areas of Texas.

Whitetail deer eat grass together, browse and some grass. They also eat masti (nuts), mushrooms, lichens and some very unusual things which I will mention below. The proportion of each of these in their diet varies greatly depending on the season and their availability in their habitat. Keep reading for the full review!

Do Deer Eat Hawthorn Berries

White-tailed deer are browsers, meaning they search for food as they move throughout the day. Deer opportunistically feed on any available food source they see during their daily activities.

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Most of their diet comes from food and browsing, which together make up up to 80% of their diet.

Browsing from small shrubs and trees is the most reliable year-round food source for white-tailed deer. Masts and masts, on the other hand, are only available seasonally, and some years a mast may not be available at all.

White-tailed deer are ruminants, but unlike other ruminants (cattle, sheep, and goats), they are not efficient at digesting grass. In fact, it is often said that a deer can starve to death with a belly full of grass. This is why grass makes up such a small part of their annual diet, generally less than 5%.

According to a Texas A&M Agrilife Extension article, deer tend to eat grasses that break down quickly in the rumen, such as small grains, ryegrass and some native species. That’s why you often hear of landowners planting ryegrass, oats, wheat and barley in food plots.

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These grasses are also common in popular food court mixes. However, it is believed that these grasses are often planted as forage rather than supplementary food.

Deer are opportunistic and will take supplemental nutrition wherever they can find it. This includes gardens, crops and orchards. One study (Dillard et al.) in the Cross Timbers region of Texas indicated that crops may account for nearly 7% of their diet. At the end of this article I will list 6 things you would never expect a deer to eat.

You’ve probably heard that you need to make sure the deer in your area are getting enough protein. Many larger ranches provide their deer with supplemental protein that has been heard on broadcast and free-choice feeders.

White-tailed deer need 6-22% protein, depending on their life stage and activity level. Deer use protein for reproduction, lactation, maintaining a normal metabolism and producing beautiful antlers.

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Adult deer need 6-10% protein to maintain normal metabolism. However, young adults need 12% for normal body care and growth. As you can probably imagine, the highest protein needs are when raising young (16-20%), at the end of pregnancy (11-15%) and during lactation (14-22%).

In my opinion, the benefit of this research is that the protein requirements for deer to thrive are double the amount needed to maintain their weight AND these requirements must be met essentially year-round.

Assuming you want to maintain successful hearing, you need to ensure that these higher protein needs are met throughout the year; in winter for lactating mothers, in spring for antler growth, in summer for late pregnancy and in autumn for lactation and excellent coat growth.

In one such study (Harmel et al., Texas Parks & Wildlife), multiple titmice were raised in separate enclosures, strictly controlling their protein intake over several years. The study showed that 2-year-old soles fed an 8% protein diet had half the horn weight of 2-year-old soles fed a 16% protein diet.

Deer Resistant Trees

I always thought that protein intake could make a big difference in antler growth, but I had no idea that going from an 8% to 16% protein diet would double the size of young antlers.

At 4 years of age, there was an average difference of 20 inches in horn size between the 8% protein and 16% protein diets.

White-tailed deer antlers are about 45% protein, so it’s no surprise that protein intake has such a large effect on antler growth. Because protein is an important part of their physiological needs, bucks prefer protein for metabolism and body maintenance when overall protein intake is insufficient for both body maintenance and antler growth.

A whitetail deer needs to eat 2% of its body weight (dry feed weight, see next paragraph for definition) with a minimum protein content of 6% just to KEEP muscle. This is the minimum threshold for a deer to maintain body weight, but it is not sufficient for reproduction or lactation.

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The weight of dry feed is the amount that the total feed consumed would weigh if it were completely dried. Think about how much grass weighs mowed and how much it weighs as hay.

For reproduction and breeding, a deer needs 3-5% of its body weight every day, with a protein content of 12-16%. In his article Top Food Plants for Deer in South Texas, Steve Nelle mentions that a whitetail needs 3.5 pounds of dry forage per day, or 1,300 pounds per year, containing 16% protein. A deer that does not consume this food will not achieve optimal growth or reproduction.

As a white-tailed deer manager, it is always most important to manage the habitat first. This is a critical first step in ensuring that the deer on your property have adequate cover, adequate water distribution, and adequate food. For more information on this topic, see our article written by Dr. James Kroll titled “A Plan for Managing White-tailed Deer.

Sometimes it may be necessary to supplement what the natural habitat provides. Periods of prolonged drought can have dire consequences for whitetail populations, seen in poor body weight and low wildlife recruitment.

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Food plots are like miniature farm fields designed specifically to “supplement” deer diets. Food plots should be planted in the spring and deer supplemented during the hot, dry summer months as well as in the fall to provide additional food during the winter months.

For even more information on food sampling for whitetail deer, check out our comprehensive article written by Dr. James Kroll, the best article on food sampling for whitetail deer ever!

I usually recommend planting more than one species in a plot at a time. An intensive whitetail management strategy should dedicate 3-5% of the ground to food plots.

I won’t go into the details of meal plans in this article as there is FAR too much to cover, but I have linked below to several articles we have on meal plans.

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In some areas, food courts may not be possible or feasible. In West Texas, for example, it is nearly impossible to grow food plots without irrigation. In such cases, it may be better to provide additional nutrition through protein pellets.

I won’t cover them in detail either, as there’s too much to cover for this article, but I’ve included additional resources below.

The Texas Hill Country has the highest population of white-tailed deer in the country. According to Texas Parks and Wildlife, deer populations in counties such as Mason, Gillespie and Llano can be as dense as 1 deer for every 2 to 3 acres. This is the highest density of white-tailed deer in the country.

For a more in-depth look at the white-tailed deer population in Texas, read this article How Many Deer in Texas?

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According to several articles I’ve seen, deer in the Texas Hill Country tend to eat slightly more grass (ranging from 7-14% seasonally) than deer in other parts of the country (usually less than 7%).

Hill Country white-tailed deer eat mostly every year. Their favorite species are live oak, mistletoe, persimmon, hollywood and honeysuckle.

However, in the spring, when there is more grass and fresh young grass, deer focus on using the existing habitats of these two groups as an additional feeding opportunity.

This graphic was published by Texas Agrilife Extension in “Browsing Preferences of South Texas and Edwards Plateau Whitetails”

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The graph above shows that deer in the Texas Hill Country prefer grass more than deer in other parts of the country. See the source for the “White-tailed Deer Browse Preferences for South Texas and Edwards Plateau” graphic.

This graphic was published by Texas Agrilife Extension in the article “Browsing Preferences of South Texas and Edwards Plateau Whitetails.” It depicts the diet of white-tailed deer from four specific locations in the Texas Hill Country.

As you can see from the graph above, whitetail deer in the Texas Hill Country eat a wide variety of species including; Live oak, mistletoe, persimmon, mesquite, cedar, dovewood, sida, orange zemania, bladderwrack and countless other things.

South Texas covers an area of ​​more than 20 million acres (1 million of which

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